Keysville Drive-In

134 U.S. Highway 360,
Keysville, VA 23947

200 cars

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Keysville Drive-In

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The Keysville Drive-In located off U.S. Route 360 opened in May of 1952 and closed around 2002. It had a capacity for approximately 200 cars.

The Keysville Drive-In re-opened in May 2009, but closed in 2014.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

NaD
NaD on April 17, 2006 at 5:50 am

Hey guys,

Checking to see if the old place was up and running again, it saddens us to see it has more or less been abandoned as we suspected it would be.

My husband and I were the last management on the ground for Richard Boaz. Richard purchased the then fully-functional and active drive-in on ebay in the fall of 2000. Richard grew up in Keysville, although he lives in SC now. We moved to keysville in March and opened the spring season in April of 2001. We ran with great success for 2 months until Richard lost interest in the thing when his wife became pregnant early that summer. After discovering that the well that provided water for the concession stand and restrooms was dry in May 2001, he decided to close the site instead of investing in a new one. The last show was on Sunday, May 26, 2001, and we packed the lot. The following day, we became homeless and unemployed, and the whole way events went down has left a sour taste in our mouth for almost 5 years now.

We’ve heard he had the equiptment removed and sold for scrap, and that a leak in the upstairs had caused the 2nd floor to cave into the 1st… Also heard talk of selling it to a lumber company to park trucks. Sad really, there was alot of history there. I rememeber my husband cleaning out the attic upstairs when we first moved in, we found tickets, screeners, and posters dating back to the early 50’s up there.

Looking back, it was an incredible experience and a step out of time, but it taught us an important lesson: Never become employed by a hobbyist.

ghamilton
ghamilton on May 4, 2006 at 1:55 pm

Passed by today.Looks about the same,just more brush growing up on everything as screen continues to slowly peel away.

REBoaz
REBoaz on May 23, 2006 at 6:38 pm

My recollection of the end was very different than NaD’s. You see, I owned the drive-in in 2001 and still do today.

I could share all kinds of horror stories about the last “managers” of the place. Unless NaD were lying on their box office reports, the drive-in wasn’t doing much business at all during it’s short 6-week season in 2001. It wasn’t even clearing film rental minimums. It only drew over 100 cars ONE WEEKEND in six. The last weekend it drew less than 90 cars. Hardly, a “packed” lot by any stretch of the imagination.

As far as I could tell the only successful project the “managers” completed was getting a satellite dish hooked up so that they could watch TV. We won’t even get into the missing money, important documents, equipment and keys. And we won’t talk about the reason that the ceiling caved – the fact that the electricity and water was left on. I was lucky the “managers” didn’t burn the place to the ground.

Guess this owner learned an important lesson too: never hire 21-year old slackers with credit problems as managers. What they don’t take, they tear up. Talk about a “sour taste” in one’s mouth ….

After losing over $180,000 in two months on the Keysville Drive-In and with no end to the bleeding in site, I did what any sensible person would do. I chose to stop the bleeding.

The closure of this drive-in was painful in the extreme. It was my teen years drive-in. I saw “Jaws”, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “The Longest Yard” and “Saturday Night Fever” there. I loved the place and wanted to save it. I spent more than I had on it and hoped for the best. What I encountered was a perfect storm of bad luck: horrible managers, expensive repairs that I had to take care of long distance while shuffling two jobs & a family and little to no local support.

I still have not given up on one day reviving the drive-in. But unless I can oversee the operation personally or find a competent manager, I’ll let it sit. No way … no how do I want to repeat the horror and pain of 2001.

ghamilton
ghamilton on May 24, 2006 at 1:03 am

This is a rare,1st person acount that goes right to the core of your soul.As someone who passes this place on a regular basis,this gives more poignant reality to the sad sight.I do not doubt that this place could be viable again.He could draw people from the sw side of Richmond like crazy with a little publicity.A big spread in the Times-Dispatch,etc.,would do wonders-but the BIG prob.is the people running an operation.The lovely Hull is a prime example.That is a labor of love.

lpage
lpage on May 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm

The Keysville Drive-In is opening next Friday, May 29th,2009! We stopped by there today and the new owners seem to be really excited about it. They are going to start with a triple feature and normally have a double feature. $6 per adult, $3 for children under 12. They are even putting in a playground. It’s great to see the place shaping up. Their website is www.keysvilledrivein.com

markp
markp on May 24, 2009 at 7:24 am

A feel good story in these down times. I wish them well.

ghamilton
ghamilton on July 4, 2009 at 5:56 am

I was THRILLED to watch the clean up take place,see the re-opening.There are a few,very few,closed drive ins that COULD reopen,if the care,interest and money were availible.Nostagia is the key to get something like this to work.I haven’t noticed any publicity in Richmond about this going on in Keysville.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I think RICHARD BOAZ is operating the MONETTA TWIN DRIVE IN in Monetta,S.C.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on April 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

PLEASE CHANGE ADDRESS TO:

134 U.S. Highway 360

THANKS

Chris1982
Chris1982 on October 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

According to their website the Keysville Drive-In is closed again.

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